Electronic meets gritty punk in The Drones’ new record, Feelin Kinda Free. The Australian quintet has offered up their seventh record this year, the first since 2013′s I See Seaweed. The album explores a wide variety of sounds and combines electronics with guitar noise that sounds like it’s being amplified by dirt.
A sense of the dirtiness straight off the beginning with ‘Private Execution’, a dark track with a brooding bassline on top of chilling guitar synths and the screeching of scratched guitar strings. This song also highlights the Nirvana-esque lyricism that the band has; quote the second verse: “But what do fish know about water? / I'm probably someone's entertainment.” The next track, single ‘Taman Shud’ brings some funk in the most disjointed of fashions, synths panning left and right on top of the crunchy, staccato picked guitars. Things take a softer turn as the album approaches it’s center, with ‘Then They Came For Me’ and ‘To Think That I Once Loved You’ taking on more personal subjects. The latter of the two is the peak of the album, a massive build up of haunting harmonies as the slow moving monster sluggishly chugs along into a beautiful climax. The Drones take some influence from other artists following the meat of the album; ‘Tailwind’ starts off pretty ominously but then becomes what could be a punk Lorde song, and ‘Boredom’ draws from the Nine Inch Nails playbook. The album ends just as you may expect from a band like this; ‘Shut Down SETI’ ends the record with droning synths and slow buildups.
The Drones’ seventh album is a slow, burning engine, with occasional bubbles of energy and the uncommon beautiful display of embers. It burns with a vengeance and a conviction, each note a burst of emotion. Even then, it almost feels like it’s lacking somewhere; possibly in its adventure to achieve dirty emotion, it loses touch of any sense of purity it may have. But where it lacks in purity it has in rawness, and this album is about raw revenge.
Favorite Tracks: To Think That I Once Loved You, Then They Came For Me
Least Favorite Tracks: Sometimes, Boredom